Turkish Gov't Demands US Embassy Apologize For 'Liking' A Tweet The Turkish Gov't Didn't Like

from the adults-in-room-capitulate-to-child.-details-at-11. dept

The government with the thinnest skin is at it again. Turkey can't handle being criticized in even the slightest way -- not after installing Recep "Gollum" Erdogan as president. A very, very long list of well-earned criticisms has led to an equally long list of retaliatory actions against the president's critics, which has included the misuse of other countries' laws to secure punishment of non-citizens and the jailing of of journalists declared to be terrorists by President Erdogan's government.

The government that can't visit other nations without beating up the locals recently decided it needed to have a little one-on-one time with a US diplomat who interacted with a tweet the Turkish government didn't like.

Turkey summoned a top American diplomat Sunday after the U.S. Embassy's official Twitter account "liked" a tweet that said the people of Turkey should prepare for a political era without the leader of Turkey's national party, who is reportedly ill.

The Foreign Ministry said the U.S. charge d'affaires Jeffrey Hovenier was summoned despite an embassy statement that said its Twitter account had liked "an unrelated post in error," and apologized.

The tweet, written by a Turkish journalist Erdogan wants to throw in jail, suggested nationalist leader Devlet Bahceli might die soon. Apparently the Turkish government decided it wasn't enough to hate on the tweet and its tweeter. So, it decided to scroll down the list of people who had interacted with the tweet and see if it couldn't find some way to express its displeasure.

This in itself is ridiculous. Apparently unaware of the fact that retweets and likes aren't always endorsements, the Turkish government decided to make itself look like even more of an easily-bruised dictatorship by demanding a US diplomat apologize for pressing a button on social media. Unfortunately, the ridiculousness doesn't end there. The US embassy decided to encourage this clownish thuggery by apologizing a second time for liking a tweet.

"We do not associate ourselves with Ergun Babahan nor do we endorse or agree with the content of his tweet," the embassy's second apology read. "We reiterate our regret for this error."

Thanks. That ought to keep Erdogan in line. I realize we're somewhat reliant on Turkey thanks to our decision to back combatants in a war being fought in Syria, but pacifying an impetuous child dressed in a president's suit is something we shouldn't even be doing domestically, much less halfway around the world. We're the country of free speech. Let's try to use it now and then when idiots start demanding apologies for things they have no right to be demanding apologies for.

Filed Under: diplomacy, diplomat, free speech, jeffrey hovenier, likes, recep tayyip erdogan, thin skin, us embassy


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Oct 2019 @ 5:31am

    Pussies

    "We do not associate ourselves with Ergun Babahan" or anyone else with a conscience.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Oct 2019 @ 5:57am

    1. How is "like" not an endorsement?
    2. Fuck Erdoğan with a cactus.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    MO'B, 9 Oct 2019 @ 6:14am

    Who are you talking about???

    Was this directed at Erdogan or Trump because it seems like we could apply this to both and many more....

    " pacifying an impetuous child dressed in a president's suit is something we shouldn't even be doing domestically, much less halfway around the world. We're the country of free speech. Let's try to use it now and then when idiots start demanding apologies for things they have no right to be demanding apologies for. "

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Oct 2019 @ 6:32am

    Re: Who are you talking about???

    yeah, it was obviously a thinly veiled slam at current whitehouse resident. the tweet stuff was a pretense to slam disfavored political heads of state in the world -- there's plenty of those, let's make a list here.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. icon
    PaulT (profile), 9 Oct 2019 @ 6:35am

    Re:

    "How is "like" not an endorsement?"

    Short of retweeting or writing an actual reply, it's the only reaction you can make to a Twitter post, and it's arguable that retweeting is a bigger endorsement than liking. Saying this is an endorsement of any action basically means that you're saying that nobody should react to a tweet unless they're trying to endorse whatever's mentioned.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Oct 2019 @ 7:06am

    Re: Re: Who are you talking about???

    Erdogan, Kim, Putin, Prince Bonesaw. Pretty much any authoritarian dictator over whom Trump fawns like a lovestruck schoolgirl.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 9 Oct 2019 @ 7:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Who are you talking about???

    That's more jealousy than admiration, though he tries hard at emulation.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Oct 2019 @ 7:17am

    And to emphasize how thin-skinned this is, it's entirely possible the person running the embassy account was simply scrolling through tweets on a mobile device and accidentally hit the heart icon which "likes" a tweet. It's incredibly easy to mis-click on a touch screen interface. I've done it all the time.

    Turkey, of course, wants to flex its political muscle and assert itself, so naturally takes it in the worst possible way. And, given Trump's OK-ing a Turkish invasion, Turkey knows the US will pretty bow acquiesce to their demands no matter how petty.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Oct 2019 @ 7:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Who are you talking about???

    MBS

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Oct 2019 @ 7:32am

    Re: Re:

    it's arguable that retweeting is a bigger endorsement than liking.

    How would retweeting be an endorsement? That just means that you want other people to see the message.

    Saying this is an endorsement of any action basically means that you're saying that nobody should react to a tweet unless they're trying to endorse whatever's mentioned.

    That's ridiculous. "Like" has a specific meaning, which is precisely to indicate that you like something (i.e. approval). That doesn't change if Twitter lacks a "dislike" button or "look at this idiot" button.

    Why would each possible reaction need its own button anyway? Twitter allows you to post freeform messages and even include links. It would be really easy to post one with commentary and quote/link the original. Like "I don't approve of this: [original message here]".

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. icon
    mcherm (profile), 9 Oct 2019 @ 7:34am

    Sharp Words

    pacifying an impetuous child dressed in a president's suit is something we shouldn't even be doing domestically, much less halfway around the world

    Wow... quite a turn of phrase there.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Oct 2019 @ 7:36am

    Why is it that most all dictators have thin skin?

    With all their tough talk one would think they are tough, but like the school yard bully they fall hard.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. icon
    nasch (profile), 9 Oct 2019 @ 7:48am

    Don't blame the embassy

    The US embassy decided to encourage this clownish thuggery by apologizing a second time for liking a tweet.

    It seems totally appropriate that an embassy would want to stay out of the national politics of the host country. The Turkish government demanding an apology just makes them look foolish, but I don't fault the embassy at all for offering it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Annonymouse, 9 Oct 2019 @ 8:24am

    Re:

    That would be abuse of the cactus.
    I suggest a tetsubo.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Oct 2019 @ 8:25am

    Re: Re:

    If it's that important to people to "react" to things, maybe they shouldn't oughtta use such a shitty platform, then.

    They could retweet it with a "this sucks" comment. Or they could just ignore it like they ignore literally 99.9999 percent of all the other shit on twitter.

    I'm sorry, but "like" means something, and what it means is not "I am reacting to this".

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Oct 2019 @ 8:26am

    People really need to stop using that garbage "Twitter" in the first place.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. icon
    PaulT (profile), 9 Oct 2019 @ 8:51am

    Re:

    Then they will just use something else to be idiots. The platform isn't necessarily the problem - there's plenty of polite, good natured insightful conversation on Twitter, even if it's sometimes as a springboard to somewhere not restricted by character limit. Meanwhile, the likes of Ergodan and Trump aren't going to stop being lily-livered, thin skinned, hateful creatures by using a different platform to air their ideas.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. icon
    bhull242 (profile), 9 Oct 2019 @ 8:53am

    Re: Don't blame the embassy

    Yeah, I get the first apology, but why apologize a second time?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 9 Oct 2019 @ 9:25am

    Things we should know but can't...

    How many FISA applications have been made & approved against people who said things that hurt Trumps feels on teh twitters?
    He see's the massive power other dictators are able to wield using the resources of their nation to jail people who make Lord of the Rings jokes & wonders why he can't jail people who say his makeup looks like he was licking the bottom of a bag of cheetos.

    Don't try to tell me he hasn't tried or cooler heads prevailed.
    Shoot them in the leg, moat, spikes, CBP hassling the fake news...
    Yeah there is no way he could be THAT petty....
    Wanna buy a bridge in Brooklyn?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20. icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 9 Oct 2019 @ 9:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Who are you talking about???

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21. identicon
    A Guy, 9 Oct 2019 @ 9:45am

    If the attempted coup happened in the United States we'd be dealing with Trump armed with the insurrection clause and I doubt extremely highly it would be somehow better.

    I do disagree with some of the stuff that has come out of Turkey but compared to other places in the world it doesn't seem to be very far out of the norm.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Oct 2019 @ 11:16am

    Re: Re: Don't blame the embassy

    and why did trump bow to arabs?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Oct 2019 @ 11:17am

    Re:

    Turkey is just another shithole country - right?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24. identicon
    A Guy, 9 Oct 2019 @ 12:34pm

    Re: Re:

    There's a reason the Somali-American Congresswomen was the one in the news cycle after Trump made that comment.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25. icon
    nasch (profile), 9 Oct 2019 @ 12:59pm

    Re: Re: Don't blame the embassy

    Yeah, I get the first apology, but why apologize a second time?

    What did they have to lose? An apology is free, pissing off the host country might not be.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26. icon
    nasch (profile), 9 Oct 2019 @ 1:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Who are you talking about???

    In the context of authoritarian dictators, MBS generally refers to Mohammad bin Salman of Saudi Arabia.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Oct 2019 @ 4:15pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Racism

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28. identicon
    A Guy, 9 Oct 2019 @ 4:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Have you looked into Somalia? If you want to move there do but be ready to be ruled by Al-Shabab every so often.

    The Congresswoman was smart to leave Somalia.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29. icon
    Samuel Abram (profile), 9 Oct 2019 @ 5:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Don't blame the embassy

    why did trump bow to arabs?

    Turks aren't Arabs. Neither are Kurds nor Iranians. Unless you mean actual Arabs…

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30. icon
    Samuel Abram (profile), 9 Oct 2019 @ 5:05pm

    Re: the bridge in Brooklyn

    Wanna buy a bridge in Brooklyn?

    I live near said Bridge in Brooklyn. If I had the money to purchase it, it would make crossing it a hell of a lot easier without all that traffic…

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Oct 2019 @ 11:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I used to tell one of the free market absolutists to move there when he got overly tiresome. The reason the Congresswoman was in the news is she was and indeed still is great target for Trump and the rest of the racists clods out there. I get the point you are making but that’s not why she was in the news.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32. identicon
    A Guy, 10 Oct 2019 @ 4:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    She was specifically in the news because she is a dual-citizen from one of the Trump travel-ban countries.

    Those were the ones he was thought to be referring to in that statement.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33. icon
    arzhost (profile), 11 Oct 2019 @ 6:47am

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    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34. icon
    bhull242 (profile), 12 Oct 2019 @ 12:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Don't blame the embassy

    Eh, it seems excessive to me, and overly deferential.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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